Hinamatsuri: Japan’s Girls’ Day Celebration

One of the most beautiful Japanese holidays, Hinamatsuri is a day dedicated to girls and their families’ hopes for a bright and happy future.

As a small child, I used to think that Japan’s Girls’ Day (or Dolls’ Day), Hinamatsuri (ひな祭りor 雛祭り), was actually called ‘Princess Day,’ as the Japanese word for doll (and chick), hina (雛) sounds similar to this for princess, hime (姫). I was a dress-obsessed tomboy who often made the boys in my class cry, but I still wanted to be a princess. And I still looked forward to Hinamatsuri.

Celebrated on March 3 every year, Hinamatsuri is one of Japan’s most beautiful unofficial holidays; a day on which Japanese households with young daughters decorate their homes with ornamental dolls (hina dolls) on red-cloth covered platforms. The dolls are said to be representing the emperor, empress, attendants, and musicians in traditional court dress of the Heian period, and are



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